We report the first high-resolution record of arsenic (As) observed in Greenland snow and ice for the periods 1711-1970 and 2003-2009 AD. The results show well-defined large-scale atmospheric pollution by this toxic element in the northern hemisphere, beginning as early as the 18th century. The most striking feature is an abrupt, unprecedented enrichment factor (EF) peak in the late 1890s, with an ~30-fold increase in the mean value above the Holocene natural level. Highly enriched As was evident until the late 1910s; a sharp decline was observed after the First World War, reaching a minimum in the early 1930s during the Great Depression. A subsequent increase lasted until the mid-1950s, before decreasing again. Comparisons between the observed variations and Cu smelting data indicate that Cu smelting in Europe and North America was the likely source of early anthropogenic As in Greenland. Despite a significant reduction of ~80% in concentration and ~60% in EF from the 1950s to the 2000s, more than 80% of present-day As in Greenland is of anthropogenic origin, probably due to increasing As emissions from coal combustion in China. This highlights the demand for the implementation of national and international environmental regulations to further reduce As emissions.
An analysis of the data from the 1981 census of Canada is presented concerning the aboriginal population aged 15 to 24, defined as including the Inuit, status Indian, non-status Indian, and Metis populations. Comparisons are made with the non-aboriginal population. Factors considered include geographic location, migration, family status, dependent children, educational status, labor force participation, unemployment, income, and industry.
This selective report notes recent events relating to pregnancy termination in the U.S., France, England, Italy, East and West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Due to the Supreme Court decision in January 1973, abortion is now legal in the U.S. Although abortions is illegal in France, an estimated 400,000-1,000,000 clandestine abortions occur each year. Although abortions are legal in Britain, the ease with which they can be obtained varies regionally. As of March 1973, contraceptives are part of Britain's National Health Service. In Italy, a bill to legalize abortion has been introduced in Parliament, though there is little likelihood of its passing. In East Germany, abortion can be granted for medical or social reasons, while in West Germany, the governmental policies are more conservative, resulting in an abundance of illegal abortions performed by physicians. There is a trend toward easier abortion laws in Norway and Sweden. Little is happening in the Netherlands as far as liberalizing the abortion laws. Rather liberal grounds for pregnancy termination exist in China (though emphasis is on contraception), India, Russia, and Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania). Abortion is frowned upon in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East resulting in a large number of illegal abortions. It is concluded that there is liberalized abortion in communist bloc countries, there is trend toward liberalizing abortion in a large group of western countries, and tradition and religion are responsible for conservative abortion laws in a third group of countries.
Homozygosity for a premature stop codon at amino acid position 577 in the alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3) gene leads to a-actinin-3 deficiency. This genotype is observed in approximately 18% of Caucasians. The ACTN3 R577X polymorphism has been previously associated with indicators of physical performance in several, but not all, studies. We examined the prevalence of R577X (rs1815739) and two additional haplotype tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) of the ACTN3 gene (rs1791690 and rs2275998) in the Genathlete study comprising 316 male elite endurance athletes (VO2max 79.0+3.5 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1); mean +/- s) from North America, Finland, and Germany and 304 sedentary controls (VO2max 40.1+7.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) matched by country of origin. The distribution of genotype and allele frequencies between the two groups was tested by Pearson chi-square and/or Fischer exact test. The prevalence of the 577X homozygote genotype was similar in endurance athletes and controls (20% and 17.5%, respectively). The resulting odds ratio for endurance performance in 577X homozygotes compared with 577R-allele carriers was 1.24 (95%CI 0.82-1.87, P = 0.3). The genotype distribution of the two htSNPs and haplotype frequencies did not differ significantly between athletes and controls. In conclusion, our findings indicate that ACTN3 R577X and other SNPs in ACTN3 are not genetic determinants of endurance performance in Caucasian males.
Treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma are associated with large relative risks of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but there are few estimates of the excess absolute risk (EAR), a useful measure of disease burden. One-year Hodgkin lymphoma survivors (N = 35,511) were identified within 14 population-based cancer registries in Nordic countries and North America from January 1, 1970, through December 31, 2001. We used Poisson regression analysis to model the EAR of AML, per 10,000 person-years. A total of 217 Hodgkin lymphoma survivors were diagnosed with AML (10.8 expected; unadjusted EAR = 6.2; 95% confidence interval = 5.4 to 7.1). Excess absolute risk for AML was highest during the first 10 years after Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis but remained elevated thereafter. In subsequent analyses, adjusted for time since Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and presented for the 5-9 year interval, the EAR was statistically significantly (P or = 35 age groups, respectively), which may be associated with modifications in chemotherapy.